A customizable treatment that works for any skin type or condition.
Photography: Bill KnappHair: Lucie Doughty for Paul Mitchell || Make-up: Lisa Botts
With a product line founded on the belief that good skin care is not about pampering or luxury, Dermalogica’s own flagship, Dermalogica on Montana in Santa Monica, California, is serious about what they do. Make no mistake: skin treatments, not facials, are performed here. And it’s not a spa, it’s a skin treatment center. But while they are serious about taking care of skin and giving clients results, they are just as focused on making sure visitors are relaxed and comfortable, which is evident from the moment one walks in the door. With floor-to-ceiling displays of products, a roomy window seat with books, a light and bright decor and a Skin Bar where clients are served up moisturizer along with their Un-Tea, Dermalogica on Montana is designed to make sure customers stick around. The inventive Skin Bar is central to the treatment center. “If a client doesn’t want to commit to coming in for a whole pro treatment, we can perform face mapping, let them play with products and give themselves a mini-treatment,” says manager Gaynor Farmer. “They can put products on their face and see how it feels, rather than just testing products on the back of their hands.”
When clients book a full treatment, they’re in for the complete sensory experience. Guests are offered Un-Tea or Vitamin Water when they arrive. Then, during the treatment, they pick one of four different soundtracks to play in their pods—the three white, rounded, organic areas that serve as treatment rooms. “We customize every treatment to the client as much as we can,” says Farmer. “The professional decides what the client needs on her skin, but the client can choose everything else.” Architects working on the flagship center almost three years ago were inspired to design the pods after seeing a sketch Dermalogica founder Jane Wurwand had of seaside beach huts in England. “We wanted clients to feel very cared for and nurtured, and we didn’t like traditional walls. The pods create a different environment. There is a flow of energy by not having corners in the space, and the changing lights add to the ambience,” says Farmer.
When it comes to keeping the menu simple and understandable, the center has that down pat too, with only three options to keep customer confusion to a minimum: The Dermalogica Skin Treatment ($75, 60 minutes), The Dermalogica Skin Treatment + 1 Touch Therapy ($90, 75 minutes) and Additional Touch Therapies ($15, 15 minutes.) The Touch Therapies include deep tissue work, stress relief, aroma-point, reflex point, additional extractions or even nap time. The menu also recently expanded to include Dermalogica’s newest treatment, Thermal Back Therapy, a 60-minute service that cleanses and purifies the back and includes thermal touch therapy.
The key to keeping the menu so simple is the therapist. Every basic step of the treatment is the same, with the therapist choosing which products to use for the skin conditions she is seeing on that day. For model Danelle, therapist Michelle Bellaver diagnosed her skin as normal/dry and chose products accordingly. “I feel like we have something for everyone,” says Bellaver. “We can customize products to whatever kinds of problems people are having and it works very well.”
Therapist: Michelle Bellaver
Spa: Dermalogica on Montana in Santa Monica, California
Contraindications: Do not use electrical modalities if client is pregnant, has epilepsy, is undergoing treatment for cancer or has metal implants.
Duration: 60 minutes
Recommended Home Care: Special Cleansing Gel, Multi-Active Toner, Daily Microfoliant, Skin Smoothing Cream and Solar Defense Booster.